Whisky Tahoe

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I chronograph the majority of my rifle loads in order to make accurate ballistic D.O.P.E. chart as in data on previous engagement.
When you know velocity and bullet BC, you can get very close with a ballistic program to match a given distance and required scope changes
If you "calibrate" when shooting at known distances you can adjust the bullet BC value to match your exact rifle.

Plotting a powder test can be cumbersome and the latest program Chronoplotter.exe makes it super easy

https://chronoplotter.com

In addition to getting info on the program and downloading it, He's got a real life story/experiment with powder and humidity that is very informative.

There are spreadsheets with macros out there but if you don't have excel I don't think they work.
Here's my data from a Varget powder test for 6BR.
Note that nothing magically appears but if you know what you are looking for this is useful data

6BR Varget Powder Test.png

For me, I want low extreme spread (ES) and an average velocity in a sweet spot that has proven results.
2800-2850 FPS for example is a good velocity range for a lot of precision shooters
Depends on the cartridge, action, shooting discipline etc. No absolutes.

These charts often highlight there may be more than one node.
After getting good velocity data, performing a seating test can help narrow down where your accuracy settings are.
If I have a couple of nodes from a graph, sometimes I'll include both in seating tests and see who wins.

Note there are a lot of factors to consider. Temp stability or elevation deltas between testing place and shooting place for instance will affect results.

enjoy...
 

Whisky Tahoe

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Sounds interesting. Too bad my NORTON tells me it's a MALICIOUS SITE!
It isn't a malicious site, he's working on getting white listed. It's good that you are careful though.
Here's another site that discusses the load development process.

 
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Sounds interesting. Too bad my NORTON tells me it's a MALICIOUS SITE!
Wtf? Minitrue comin' at cha
I chronograph the majority of my rifle loads in order to make accurate ballistic D.O.P.E. chart as in data on previous engagement.
When you know velocity and bullet BC, you can get very close with a ballistic program to match a given distance and required scope changes
If you "calibrate" when shooting at known distances you can adjust the bullet BC value to match your exact rifle.

Plotting a powder test can be cumbersome and the latest program Chronoplotter.exe makes it super easy

https://chronoplotter.com

In addition to getting info on the program and downloading it, He's got a real life story/experiment with powder and humidity that is very informative.

There are spreadsheets with macros out there but if you don't have excel I don't think they work.
Here's my data from a Varget powder test for 6BR.
Note that nothing magically appears but if you know what you are looking for this is useful data

View attachment 18941

For me, I want low extreme spread (ES) and an average velocity in a sweet spot that has proven results.
2800-2850 FPS for example is a good velocity range for a lot of precision shooters
Depends on the cartridge, action, shooting discipline etc. No absolutes.

These charts often highlight there may be more than one node.
After getting good velocity data, performing a seating test can help narrow down where your accuracy settings are.
If I have a couple of nodes from a graph, sometimes I'll include both in seating tests and see who wins.

Note there are a lot of factors to consider. Temp stability or elevation deltas between testing place and shooting place for instance will affect results.

enjoy...
Guy has a nice site. Was reading the "blog" and I saw this:
1653596931598.png

I think this dude spent more on this reloading block than I have on my entire loading setup.

Anyways, really interesting stuff, not totally sure what the chart was tracking, I am guessing it was looking at the consistency of the different velocities in your shot strings. I write a lot of my own programs to handle this stuff, previously I used mostly PERL and R to extract data from LabRadar shot files. About a week ago, I was having dinner with a friend and we got to talking about the over-dependence long range shooters are having on tech. Specifically smart phones and tablets and the like, but we were also talking about this in conjunction with the war in Ukraine.

DOPE is still the gold standard, and a lot of the tech we use is very useful in developing loads and working out data beforehand. One of the things we were talking about doing was using good old graphing calculators to run point-mass solvers (PMS) in the future, and we were talking about running a signature reduced match. Where we'd actually scan your gear for signal emissions before the stage. Main reason: if you're somewhere fighting a near-peer adversary (russia) you fire up that smart phone, you could be calling an artillery strike in on your position. It's really time this kinda stuff is taken more seriously. The trick in the future, is to deploy something that allows you to interrogate and geo-locate your adversary using their own smartphones.

Either way, really good stuff. Been reading through a bunch of Litz stuff lately trying to get some of the math down, and re-visiting some of my data collected. I usually use the LR for chronographing all my loads, and making sure my loads are doing what they should be doing. I haven't looked too exhaustively at the statistics behind it outside a few projects. But since lately I've been loading the same bullets in my .308, and .300BLK, and I can do some in my buddy's .300WM, I can get a pretty solid fit of the drag curve if I needed to.
 

Whisky Tahoe

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Anyways, really interesting stuff, not totally sure what the chart was tracking, I am guessing it was looking at the consistency of the different velocities in your shot strings.
The 2 key pieces of data are the ESs for each group and the average velocity. Nodes or flat spots occur when the velocity changes the least which means you have a good chance to have your rounds arrive on target with a similar point of impact. I look for low es and low increase in velocity. There can be several nodes and some times they look like some waves
 
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I look mostly at standard deviation. I will usually do 5-10 rounds in a test set, and then 20 rounds for a candidate, I might tune .1 grains at that point where as the 5-10 round sets might be half grain increments. With a few powders my .308 loads have SD's in the single digits. Right now my .300BLK load has a SD of 6.
 
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I finally got some range time where I just had TIME to actually work through all of the issues I've got with my setup, and sit down and get data recorded. This was just a short 20 round string, but kinda gave me some pointers on where I should go with my loads:

This is in the range of the Hodgdon loading data on their site. as usual refer to their data to confirm it's safe with your load...

1655463592085.png
I'm really debating whether I want to tune for that low SD, or for that higher velocity. I did have some other rounds on me that I ended up shooting that day, they were a box of my old reloads, but they weren't labeled, but they were consistent with the 45gr varget load. After firing 50 rounds they were all right about 2700fps with a SD of 17. The 42gr load has been my go to for a long time, but I'm looking to push my distances a bit, since I shoot at altitude, 1000yds is still a reasonable distance to make hits at if I can get enough velocity.

I almost forgot, obligatory range photo:
I was mostly zeroing the optic and getting velocity data. You can see there are steel poppers all over the range. after I got my data I went after those to double check my drop table.

IMG_20220602_164506675.jpg
 
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I'm now using dopler radar. After optics, then magnetics type chrono's I initially thought this Lab radar to be the end all chrono until I went from the field to a large local club range which has close by benches, and concrete barriers. heavy reports from big bore near by could produce false triggers, radar reflection from the concrete surrounds sometimes would create reading errors. Most irritating when working up loads with a finite quantity of numbered rounds.
After some advice from a couple range officials who had previously run into the same issues, I then purchased an aftermarket trigger that attaches to the gun which completely solved the problem. Even most useful, I am no longer required to affix the unit to a specific placement near the muzzle, only align it to the target any where within the range of the wire.
Just an FYI incase such troubles ever plague you, no intent to hijack Ops useful info.



IMGP0209.JPG
 
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I'm now using dopler radar. After optics, then magnetics type chrono's I initially thought this Lab radar to be the end all chrono until I went from the field to a large local club range which has close by benches, and concrete barriers. heavy reports from big bore near by could produce false triggers, radar reflection from the concrete surrounds sometimes would create reading errors. Most irritating when working up loads with a finite quantity of numbered rounds.
After some advice from a couple range officials who had previously run into the same issues, I then purchased an aftermarket trigger that attaches to the gun which completely solved the problem. Even most useful, I am no longer required to affix the unit to a specific placement near the muzzle, only align it to the target any where within the range of the wire.
Just an FYI incase such troubles ever plague you, no intent to hijack Ops useful info.



View attachment 19139
Yea, I have a very love/hate relationship with the LabRadar. I personally don't recommend them for everyone, and there's no way I would try to use one on a crowded range. I don't think it translates in that photo I posted, there were only 3 people at the range that day, two guys shooting muzzle loaders, and another guy cleaning his AR-15.

I was at the range again yesterday, doing more shooting, and more testing. I have to download all of my data and start looking at my results.

Advantages:
1) Records ballistic drag data
2) doesn't require shooting through a narrow opening
3) Doesn't cause POI shifts

Disadvantages:
1) bluetooth errors
2) confusing control layout
3) weird app issues
4) pointing issues (get one of the 3d-printed sights)
5) Kinda hard to mount in a stable fashion.
6) difficult to debug problems.
 

Whisky Tahoe

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Yea, I have a very love/hate relationship with the LabRadar. I personally don't recommend them for everyone, and there's no way I would try to use one on a crowded range. I don't think it translates in that photo I posted, there were only 3 people at the range that day, two guys shooting muzzle loaders, and another guy cleaning his AR-15.

I was at the range again yesterday, doing more shooting, and more testing. I have to download all of my data and start looking at my results.

Advantages:
1) Records ballistic drag data
2) doesn't require shooting through a narrow opening
3) Doesn't cause POI shifts

Disadvantages:
1) bluetooth errors
2) confusing control layout
3) weird app issues
4) pointing issues (get one of the 3d-printed sights)
5) Kinda hard to mount in a stable fashion.
6) difficult to debug problems.
I see fellow shooters struggling with the Lab Radar and our line is crowded with 3 relays on long (600 yd) match days.
The successful LabRadar users are the ones who tinkered non stop till it worked, used an inertial trigger, and are able to consistently set them up the same way

The Magnetospeed barrel mounted chronograph is very good at consistently recording data.
Always getting the velocity of test rounds fired makes velocity data as good as possible.

Mounted on my 1.25" 30in barrel, the Point of Impact (POI) shift is so minor that I can zero the rifle at 600 yds for whatever condition exists
and shoot 30 shots with the POI remaining steady. I have been shooting with the MagnetoSpeed installed. At 600yds the 10 ring is 6" in diameter so my MagnetoSpeed isn't screwing that up. The last two targets were 200-10x and 199-15x. The "9" was low at 6:00 with lower velocity by 50fps. Having the Magneto Speed installed gave me that info as would a LabRadar

Because the magneto speed is barrel mounted, it does have some shift potential which varies by barrel.
I am having tuners installed on my barrels which will have trouble being set correctly unless the magneto speed is removed.
The firing impulse will "likely" cause the MagnetoSpeed to flop around (Hispeed camera?)
and is likely to move out of sync or frequency with respect to the metal barrels

So it looks like someday I'll need a LabRadar for competition and use my magneto speed for all the other rifles getting loads worked up
 
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Just my glans penis opinion, but I'd tune your loads for the best SD you can get. You want to pretty much know the muzzle velocity, which is useful for calculating drop tables. With a tight and small SD, you know your bullets are all pretty much behaving along the same lines. Do you uniform the mep-lats with the trimmer for that job? Weigh each bullet for uniformity in the set under test? Primers all from one lot? Weigh your prepared cases for their uniformity? I did all this stuff before I went to work with FedEx Ground in May 2017. It's all gone, now; haven't fired a shot in over a year. Don't remember how long it's been since I last reloaded a round. Being a self-supporting adult is no fun...
 
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I see fellow shooters struggling with the Lab Radar and our line is crowded with 3 relays on long (600 yd) match days.
The successful LabRadar users are the ones who tinkered non stop till it worked, used an inertial trigger, and are able to consistently set them up the same way

The Magnetospeed barrel mounted chronograph is very good at consistently recording data.
Always getting the velocity of test rounds fired makes velocity data as good as possible.

Mounted on my 1.25" 30in barrel, the Point of Impact (POI) shift is so minor that I can zero the rifle at 600 yds for whatever condition exists
and shoot 30 shots with the POI remaining steady. I have been shooting with the MagnetoSpeed installed. At 600yds the 10 ring is 6" in diameter so my MagnetoSpeed isn't screwing that up. The last two targets were 200-10x and 199-15x. The "9" was low at 6:00 with lower velocity by 50fps. Having the Magneto Speed installed gave me that info as would a LabRadar

Because the magneto speed is barrel mounted, it does have some shift potential which varies by barrel.
I am having tuners installed on my barrels which will have trouble being set correctly unless the magneto speed is removed.
The firing impulse will "likely" cause the MagnetoSpeed to flop around (Hispeed camera?)
and is likely to move out of sync or frequency with respect to the metal barrels

So it looks like someday I'll need a LabRadar for competition and use my magneto speed for all the other rifles getting loads worked up
This may be one point to give the Magnetospeed. I'm starting to build a good enough Dataset that I'm not worried about collecting chronograph data during a match. If it's a busy match, and they're squading, I don't want to take forever to get my gear setup. Speaking of which, they're doing a 600yd night match this weekend.

Just my glans penis opinion, but I'd tune your loads for the best SD you can get. You want to pretty much know the muzzle velocity, which is useful for calculating drop tables. With a tight and small SD, you know your bullets are all pretty much behaving along the same lines. Do you uniform the mep-lats with the trimmer for that job? Weigh each bullet for uniformity in the set under test? Primers all from one lot? Weigh your prepared cases for their uniformity? I did all this stuff before I went to work with FedEx Ground in May 2017. It's all gone, now; haven't fired a shot in over a year. Don't remember how long it's been since I last reloaded a round. Being a self-supporting adult is no fun...
I don't worry about a lot of this stuff personally. I used to spend a lot of time doing all the crazy match prep type stuff, neck sizing using bushing dies, neck turning, meplate uniforming etc.

A few years ago, I kinda stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb, I now exclusively small base size, trim everything to the case OAL with the gracey trimer, and run prepped brass through my dillon 550. If you look at the results I posted earlier with the varget data, on the lighter side my SD is 6... and that's been proven out over a lot of rounds under a lot of different weather conditions. Unfortunately, Varget has become somewhat unobtanium, going for almost $50/lb.

I did some more load dev on tuesday, I did some with CFE223, the SD was a little higher (16), but it shot really well, and was very energetic, from my 20" barrel, I was pushing almost 2900FPS. With the altitudes I shoot at, a basic .308 is supersonic at almost 1600yds.
 

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